Photo gems from the Moon

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From October 2007 to June 2009, Japan’s SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer) mission orbited the moon. The mission consisted of three spacecraft. The largest was better known by the nickname the public had chosen for it: Kaguya, honoring a lunar princess of Japanese legend.

During its expedition, the SELENE mission returned a wealth of scientific information from its polar orbit, such as the most detailed map of the moon’s gravity field ever obtained up until that time.

The Kaguya spacecraft also carried cameras, including one with a pair of 2.2 megapixel HDTV sensors that captured the first high-definition video from the moon. Thanks to this clear-eyed video camera, many of Kaguya’s images — especially the shots showing the Earth rising and setting at the lunar horizon — are moving in both senses of the word.

Now the Japanese space agency, JAXA, has publicly released the entire data set from Kaguya’s HDTV cameras. The iconic views are all there…plus some gems that haven’t been widely seen before.

Click through to the blog post and follow any other links along the way. Entertaining, beautiful.

Inside the world’s largest particle accelerator

…You can see scientists try to make space for a giant 360 degree camera-ball while they’re hard at work helping uncover the origins of the universe: the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) unveiled two new panoramic videos today of the Large Hadron Collider — you know, the same giant underground machine that found evidence of the Higgs boson back in 2012.

Both videos were taken during the Large Hadron Collider’s first long shutdown in 2013. During this time, called “consolidation,” crews performed accelerator element maintenance that’d help it run at a higher energy once they turned it back on in 2015. And that it did — at almost twice the energy as before, its proton beams colliding at an energy of 13 TeV (teraelectronvolts).

Ah, yes. Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress made damned certain we never built anything like this in our god-fearing nation.

Netflix released a 12-minute film that makes real sense to engineers and developers

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Netflix released a eerie original film noir this month called Meridian that combines a classic detective tale with bizarre visuals, loud special effects, and creepy imagery. The 12-minute film got 1.5 stars and a few reviews on Netflix. But it wasn’t made for casual viewers. It was released for developers and engineers…

Netflix is giving away the project for free on, which houses a collection of test media, so hardware manufacturers, codec developers, and even competitors like Amazon can experiment with it, Variety reported. They can test the performance of their algorithms and the way streams look on different devices using the footage, which is listed under the Creative Commons 4.0 license. It’s part of how Netflix is pushing Hollywood to think more like Silicon Valley.

“It’s a weird story wrapped up in a bunch of engineering requirements,” Chris Fetner, Netflix’s director for content partner operations, told the publication…

The film has top notch specs, so developers and engineers are working with highest quality Netflix streaming currently offers. It was shot in 4K HDR video with 60 frames per second with a peak brightness level of 4000 nits and Dolby Atmos audio…

Cinema nuts will enjoy the piece regardless. Interesting knowing you’re watching a technical lecture at the same time.

Video: Evolution of E.coli into an antibiotic resistant bacteria

❝ …At the start of the video, bacteria are dropped into the edges of the dish and soon colonise the outer safe zones. Then they hit their first antibiotic wall, which halts their progress. After a few moments, bright spots appear at this frontier and start spreading outwards. These are resistant bacteria that have picked up mutations that allow them to shrug off the drug. They advance until they hit the next antibiotic zone. Another pause, until even more resistant strains evolve and invade further into the dish. By the end of the movie, even the centre-most stripe—the zone with the highest levels of killer chemicals—is colonised.

❝ What you’re seeing in the movie is a vivid depiction of a very real problem. Disease-causing bacteria and other microbes are increasingly evolving to resist our drugs; by 2050, these impervious infections could potentially kill ten million people a year. The problem of drug-resistant infections is terrifying but also abstract; by their nature, microbes are invisible to the naked eye, and the process by which they defy our drugs is even harder to visualise.

But now you can: just watch that video again. You’re seeing evolution in action. You’re watching living things facing down new challenges, dying, competing, thriving, invading, and adapting—all in a two-minute movie…

❝ when Baym showed the videos at an evolutionary biology conference in Washington DC last month, many attendees were awed and slack-jawed. “It’s exciting, creative and, game-changing,” says Shelly Copley from the University of Colorado, one of the organisers. Baym himself, who has seen the movies hundreds of times, is still blown away by them. “You can actually see mutations happening,” he says, before shaking his head and smiling.

Seeing is believing except – I imagine – for the truly science-challenged. There may be True Believers who think some unreal force causes the same sort of result any and every time the experiment is repeated. We are looking, after all, at a demonstration of evolution.

The scarier part for me is that we’re looking at a consistent direction for bacteria. Antibiotic resistance. We have a finite amount of time remaining before pretty much all our antibiotic wonder drugs are useless.

Click the link up near the beginning to access the whole article. Fascinating chronology.

Coppers asked Facebook to stop Korryn Gaines’ live stream of their confrontation – then they killed her!

Korryn Gaines

In the middle of a five-hour standoff that ended in the death of 23-year-old Korryn Gaines, Facebook granted an emergency request from the Baltimore County police department to take her social media accounts offline, police have said.

Baltimore County police officers shot and killed Gaines on Monday after she barricaded herself inside her Randallstown apartment with her five-year-old son and pointed a shotgun at officers attempting to serve an arrest warrant on charges stemming from a 10 March traffic stop including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Gaines was using social media to broadcast the standoff, which began when officers showed up on Monday morning to serve a warrant. Police officials asked Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, to suspend Gaines’ accounts through what police called a “law enforcement portal”, a part of the site open to certified law enforcement agencies.

At some point after that, police shot Gaines, killing her

Though Baltimore County has implemented a body camera program, it is only a few weeks into implementation and according to police none of the officers involved were wearing body cameras, meaning the Facebook video could become particularly important. A police spokeswoman, Elise Armacost, said the department was obtaining a warrant to obtain the videos as evidence.

Activists, however, see such video as the only hope of countering the police narrative. “They get on the 11 o’clock news or the Baltimore Sun with the police side and then everyone forgets it,” said Duane “Shorty” Davis, a Baltimore activist who regularly films encounters with police. “They control the narrative, but in controlling the narrative they have to control social media, because it’s our narrative,” he said. “To keep our message from getting out, they’re going to take [social media] out.”…

No officers were injured, but Gaines’ child was also shot. He was wounded in the arm and is in a good condition in hospital.

Check with your state chapter of the ACLU. I keep an app on my iPhone that streams video directly to the New Mexico chapter via the Cloud. Kept encrypted and secure.

Maybe not as effective as live stream trying to keep coppers from killing you – until they become aware of many folks using the service. Regardless, you’re recording what actually happens. The police, NO social media has any way of interfering with the recording. Of course, the coppers can use electronic devices to interfere with cellphone access. My iPhone is setup to communicate both via wifi and the Web as well as a cellular device.

Yes, I realize we have sufficient tame judges that even this avenue might be blocked. Hackers, geeks, will come up with more answers.

Note #1: The DOJ Report from their investigation of the Baltimore Police Department.

Note #2: Sample form used by cops on the beat to guide paperwork for arrests. It presumes the person arrested is Black.

This 9 minute film got its indie director a gig writing the new Pacific Rim movie

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In just a few years, Emily Carmichael has gone from making an animated webseries for Penny Arcade to writing Pacific Rim: Maelstrom and directing Powerhouse, the next big project from Steven Spielberg.

Today on Ars Technica, we’re proud to host the digital debut of Stryka, one of Carmichael’s short films that rocketed her from gamer geekdom to Hollywood. It’s the tale of a neurotic alien lizard living in Brooklyn, just trying to get by on small time heists. She has just one problem. Her partner in crime just isn’t bringing the zing anymore, and she’s been secretly doing jobs on the side with someone else.

Watch the video. RTFA for a peek inside just how easy – and unlikely – creative success can be.